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State of Louisiana Funds Drainage Improvements, Emergency Response Vehicle in St. Landry Parish

July 8, 2011

BATON ROUGE, La. — The state of Louisiana’s Office of Community Development - Disaster Recovery Unit has awarded $340,000 in disaster recovery funding to St. Landry Parish for drainage improvements and the purchase of an ambulance, allowing parish officials to access federal Community Development Block Grant funds needed to implement the projects.

Out of the total amount, $190,000 will be used to increase drainage capacity at Oscar Rivette Road and Deranger Lane in Leonville; and $150,000 will be used to purchase a medium-duty ambulance for St. Landry Fire Protection District No. 1 in Krotz Springs.

OCD-DRU Interim Executive Director Pat Forbes said, “Hurricane Gustav caused extensive flooding in St. Landry Parish, often isolating residents behind impassable roads. The drainage improvements will help prevent this from occurring again in Leonville. In addition, a new emergency response vehicle for Fire Protection District No. 1 will helpofficials provide services to the more remote areas of the parish when responders are overwhelmed with calls in the more populated areas.”

St. Landry Parish President Don Menard said, “We wanted to make sure that our Gustav-Ike recovery dollars were effectively spent on projects that would make the greatest positive impact on our residents. So we carefully selected projects that would meet critical needs that we couldn’t otherwise fund. The drainage improvements in Leonville and the ambulance for Fire Protection District No. 1 would not be possible without these recovery dollars.”

To mitigate Leonville’s drainage problem in the area of Oscar Rivette Road and Deranger Lane, the drainage system capacity will be increased by replacing cross drains at the two crossings on Deranger Lane; replacing 500 feet of subsurface storm drain piping; and increasing the size of the drain lateral between these cross drains.

To provide more timely and reliable emergency response service during a disaster, Fire Protection District No. 1’s current lightweight ambulance, which cannot withstand winds in excess of 30 miles per hour, will be replaced with a state-of-the-art, medium-weight ambulance outfitted with life support equipment.

The funding is part of more than $1 billion in disaster recovery Community Development Block Grant money received by the state from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for damages inflicted by Gustav and Ike.

In total, the OCD-DRU has allocated $12,769,792 in Gustav-Ike disaster recovery funding to St. Landry Parish.

The Disaster Recovery Unit within the Office of Community Development is dedicated to helping Louisiana's citizens recover from hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. As the state's central point for hurricane recovery, the OCD-DRU manages the most extensive rebuilding effort in American history, working closely with local, state and federal partners to ensure that Louisiana recovers safer and stronger than before.